Intersections: Where Faith Meets Life – by Bob Weathers

Andre Aganbi and his friends from The Summit Church in Raleigh, N.C., were in New York City this summer on a mission trip. Their days were spent in Bible reading, sharing Christ, and praying on the streets of New York, among the other typical missional things.


Then on a steamy Thursday in June, as the group chatted with people on the sidewalk in Queens, a purse snatcher grabbed the bag of a young lady and fled in their direction. He was tripped up by a fast-thinking resident, and then Aganbi and his friend, Mark Haywood, spun in the direction of the stumbling criminal and tackled and pinned him to the ground.

That’s when they saw the glimmer of steel. The man pulled the pistol from his pocket and pointed it at bystanders behind Aganbi, tilted the pistol upward, and squeezed the trigger. The round zinged through the glass of a nearby store. Thankfully, no one was hurt. In the confusion, the purse snatcher slipped away and dashed off. When police arrived, they found the mission team praying, perfectly at peace with all that had transpired.

A common saying among church people goes something like this: “The safest place to be is in the will of God.” Of course, that proverb is intended to encourage the desire to stay in God’s will because we can be quite miserable, even risk ourselves in worldly things, if we are out of His will.

But if we are not careful, we mistake the nature of serving God to be danger free, no risk at all. We adopt the unbiblical notion that faithful people never see trouble, never have problems, are never endangered. And, worse, that if we find ourselves in harm’s way, we may be out of God’s will.

In fact, the Bible offers a different picture. Being faithful to God may be the very thing that brings you into a difficult situation. One minute singing hymns and sharing Christ, the next caught in the middle of a struggle. Or, as for Paul, a shipwreck (Acts 27).

When reporters asked Aganbi what he would tell his parents, he laughed. “Hung out, chased some guy, almost got shot. Shared the gospel.”

In summary, the radical life of a faithful Christian.